Arsenal are interested in a deal to bring Nicolo Zaniolo to The Emirates in the January transfer window.
What’s the talk?
That’s according to a report by Italian media outlet Radio Radio (via Sport Witness), who claim that, despite Tottenham Hotspur being heavily linked with a move for the AS Roma midfielder over the summer, the Gunners could now steal the 23-year-old from under their north London rival’s nose, with Mikel Arteta considering a bid for the Italy international this winter.
The report goes on to state that an offer in the region of €25m (£22m) should be enough to convince Jose Mourinho’s side to part with the playmaker in January, with Zaniolo’s current deal at the Stadio Olimpico set to expire in the summer of 2024.
Considering just how much potential Zaniolo undoubtedly possesses, in addition to the fact that central midfield is currently the area of Arteta’s squad that is lacking the most depth, it is not difficult to understand why the Spanish manager would be interested in a deal to bring the 23-year-old to The Emirates this winter.
Indeed, according to FBref, the £22m-rated talent currently ranks in the top 3% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s big five leagues for shots per 90, in addition to the top 23% for non-penalty goals, the top 18% for touches in the opposition penalty area and the top 9% for progressive passes received – demonstrating his effectiveness in the final third.
Do you think Arsenal can win the league this season?
The £76k-per-week playmaker also ranks in the top 15% of forwards in Europe’s big five leagues for xAG – xG which follows a pass that assists a shot – per 90, as well as the top 6% for dribbles completed, the top 31% for progressive passes and the top 13% for shot-creating actions – highlighting just how creative the Italian is in possession of the ball.
Finally, the player who Nick Mercadante dubbed both a “nightmare” and “unreal” also ranks in the top 21% of his positional peers for tackles per 90, in addition to the top 28% for blocks and the top 48% for interceptions – proving just how hard the youngster works in a defensive capacity.
As such, with Zaniolo appearing to be a talent who can do it all in the middle of the park, coupled with the 23-year-old boasting incredibly impressive positional versatility – being able to operate in central and attacking midfield, as well as on either wing and as a centre-forward – it would indeed seem as if the Italian’s signing would be an unreal one for Arteta to get over the line.